Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Illinois, one of the most attended churches in North America, with an average attendance of nearly 24,000 as of 2011. Hybels has a bachelor’s degree in Biblical Studies from Trinity International University, near Chicago, and an honorary Doctorate of Divinity from TIU’bill hybels too busy not to pray pdf Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.
Gilbert Bilezikian, a lecturer, challenged the class about an Acts 2-based church. Hybels was captivated with the vision and abandoned his business aspirations for ministry. In 1971, Bill Hybels, youth pastor at Park Ridge’s South Park Church, started a youth group with friend Dave Holmbo called Son City. Modern music, dramatic skits and multimedia were combined with Bible studies in relevant language helped the group grow from 25 to 1,200 in just three years. After 300 youth waited in line to be led to Christ in a service in May 1974, Hybels and other leaders began dreaming of forming a new church. They surveyed the community to find out why people weren’t coming to church.
Common answers included: “church is boring”, “they’re always asking for money”, or “I don’t like being preached down to. These answers shaped the group’s approach to the new church. On October 12, 1975 the group held their first service in Palatine’s Willow Creek Theater. One hundred and twenty-five people attended the service. The rent and other costs were paid for with 1,200 baskets of tomatoes, sold door-to-door by 100 teenagers. Within two years the church had grown to 2,000.
Challenges in 1979 led to a recommissioning of the church’s vision to be broader and deeper than before. Hybels apologized for the example of his relentless schedule and overemphasis on grace. We’ve set up all our leadership structures and goals to grow a full functioning Acts 2 community, as opposed to just an evangelizing machine that doesn’t drive the roots down deep and do all the other things it’s supposed to do. In 1981 the church moved to its current location in South Barrington. In 2004, the new Worship Center was opened. Willow Creek Community Church has become well known as the prototypical megachurch, with contemporary worship, drama and messages focused toward both Christians and those exploring the Christian faith.
On July 1, 2010, Hybels introduced President Barack Obama for a speech on immigration reform. Hybels is currently chairman of the board for the WCA. When God transforms the life of just one leader, that leader can transform a church. Christ-centered devotion of its leadership core. Whether staff or volunteers, the whole church benefits when leaders develop themselves spiritually and personally. The WCA exists to help churches thrive.